Tuesday night documentary link
If you didn't get a chance to watch this on Tuesday night then please take the time to click on the picture above and watch it on TV3Now (online). What ever we perceive school and learning to be it is important to take the time to consider the context that has framed this thing called school and learning and have some discussion around something that has a huge part to play in all our lives!
Monday reflection: Our School and our Learning
On Monday night we had a great crowd of (approximately) 80 parents come along to our school hall to hear about what is changing with learning at our school. I began the evening by asking everyone to consider two questions:
With these two questions in mind I introduced the scene of what our place is about before everyone headed off to the different team information. A quick summary is below:
Our children need to know that success is not easy - but requires grit, perseverance and effort! As a team our staff stood as a group - then moved into teaching teams - then into the collaborative teaching teams - then into the different curriculum teams. This was done to demonstrate that the expectation we have for our children to collaborate and innovate together in their learning is the same expectation we have of ourselves as teachers in the way we collaborate together to make our learning programmes relevant, engaging and innovative for our children!
The different teaching teams then took groups of parents back to their own space and shared 'the coal face' experience. Thanks to all our parents who came out for that evening. We look forward to seeing you at the next evening we hold.
School and Home - next weeks sharing opportunities
Next week we have two opportunities to share and talk with you.
The first is on Monday 23 May @ 5.30pm and is a chance to hear an update on what is happening with the structure of teaching and learning across our school.
This will start with an introduction and overview from me around the re-developing learning vision of our school, the overarching aims and initiatives that our school is developing and how our teaching teams are adapting and developing their practice to support and example them. The clips shared in last weeks post are a good example of how some of the thinking around the structure of what learning looks like, compared to 'our day', has changed. The different teaching teams will then break away into different spots around the school to talk to you.
There is a bbq on (free) and care provided for your children in the staffroom (movie time!). We look forward to seeing you there.
The second opportunity for contact is on Thursday night (May 26 again at 5.30) and is our Whānau Hui. This is a more informal gathering and is open to ALL parents, grandparents, caregivers of Waipahihi children to come along and share ideas, find out what's going on in our community, and meet other parents/grandparents who want to make a difference.
Come along and bring a plate for shared kai!
The Surprising Truth About Learning in Schools
As part of the lead in to our Parent Information evening that we are holding in a couple of weeks time I have posted this TEDx talk for you to watch and consider. In it Will Richardson (a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education) takes his knowledge of how to help kids develop into powerful learners and looks at how school has tried, and how it needs to reconsider, how to make that happen.
It's a great watch and is quite confronting in the way that he explains how we (as parents) know a system and structure of school that is not appropriate for the time we live in and the world that our children will end up 'working' in. The vast amount of knowledge, the ease of access to that knowledge with digital tools means that we have to balance the learning of knowledge with the ability to know how to apply and use that knowledge - ie to think!
As a school we are working together and developing learning programmes that challenge our children to manage themselves; to participate and contribute in the learning programme, to relate to others in both learning and social situations and to develop their thinking. A curriculum and learning programme centred on the key competencies, with a foundation of enriching learning contexts, is what brings reading, writing and maths to life.
Parent Information Evening - Monday May 23 @ 5.30pm
On Monday May 23 @ 5.30pm we're offering a parent evening for you to come and hear about the developments in our teaching and learning programmes. This includes the continued development of our collaborative teaching teams and the digital tools that are being integrated back into the learning programmes over Term 2. The evening will start off in the hall all together for an introduction and then we'll break into the different teams across the school where they'll share what each team (and the teaching teams within that) are up to. Bring your kids so you can both go to a different session as we'll have something organised for them.
We aim over time to give continued opportunities for you to stay connected with the developments of our teaching teams.
Developing Self-Directed Learning Fundamentals
Below is a short two and a half minute clip that gives a good example of the fundamentals that support the development of self-directed learning within the context of the different age and stage of our learners. Have a look and think about what this might look like for your child.
Dr. Peter Gray is an evolutionary psychologist that studies how people learn.
Teaching team and learning programme development
One of our major initiatives this year is developing the depth and understanding of teachers collaborating around our children's learning. Part of this means we have to consider whether the way we do the things we do is because they’re better for kids or because they are easier for us as teachers and what we 'expect' as parents?
Our teaching team is continually challenging their practices and beliefs about what is appropriate for teaching our children in 2016 and the tools and skills we are using to equip and enable our children to be ready for life and work in this 21st Century. Below are some pictures of how are learning spaces are changing to further support this change of philosophy.
Connecting with whanau - parent evening May 23
On Monday May 23 @ 5.30pm we're offering a parent evening for your to come and hear about the developments in our teaching and learning programmes. It's an important part of our development that we take multiple opportunities over time to share with you our school journey and the belief that underpins why we do what we do. This includes the continued development of our collaborative teaching teams and the digital tools that are being integrated back into the learning programmes over Term 2.
The evening will start off in the hall all together for an introduction from me (Tim) and then we'll break into the different teams across the school where they'll share what each team (and the teaching teams within that) are up to. While I realise that many of us have children across different teams what you will hear in one team setting will have some overarching belief connections with the others. Bring your kids so you can both go to a different session as we'll have something organised for them. We aim over time to give continued opportunities for you to stay connected with the developments of our teaching teams.
Waipahihi School App for Apple and Android phones
We now have a school app! We're aiming to make connection between home and school as easy and seamless as possible. The App lets you:
To download and get into it the App Store Direct Links -